New Rochelle, NY, July 9, 2015-- Researchers from the Mayo Clinic demonstrated that implantation of a biomaterial scaffold designed to bridge the lesion caused by a spinal cord injury creates a tissue environment more favorable for nerve regeneration. The desirable tissue reaction to the implant did not appear to depend on whether the scaffold was seeded with tissue-specific cells, according to the study published in Tissue Engineering, Part A, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Tissue Engineering website until August 9, 2015.
Anthony Windebank, MD and coauthors, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, evaluated the response of nerve tissue over time to an implanted biomaterial scaffold, with or without Schwann cells, at the site of a full transection spinal cord injury in rats. In the article "Positively Charged Oligo[Poly(Ethylene Glycol) Fumarate] Scaffold Implantation Results in a Permissive Lesion Environment after Spinal Cord Injury in Rat," the authors report reduced scarring, cyst formation, and deposition of debris and protein complexes that can inhibit nerve regeneration. Seeding of Schwann cells in the scaffold channels did not have a significant effect on the lesion environment. Future research to discover therapeutic agents able to block the fibrotic response to these scaffolds could improve their ability to bridge spinal cord lesions.
"In their study of spinal cord transection injury in rats, Hakim et al. discovered that bare scaffold implantation--but not implantation of scaffold plus Schwann cells--temporarily enabled a 'regeneration permissive' environment, in which immediate scarring of the spinal cord was forestalled," says Peter C. Johnson, MD, Vice President, Research and Development and Medical Affairs, Vancive Medical Technologies and President and CEO, Scintellix, LLC, Raleigh, NC. "While scaffold fibrosis ultimately ensued, the notion that proper scaffold design alone could provide sufficient time for axonal growth across spinal cord gaps has reemerged as an interesting target of study."
Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders under Award Number DC012592 and the National Institutes of Health under Award Numbers EB02390 and UL1TR000135. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
About the Journal
Tissue Engineering is an authoritative peer-reviewed journal published monthly online and in print in three parts: Part A, the flagship journal published 24 times per year; Part B: Reviews, published bimonthly, and Part C: Methods, published 12 times per year. Led by Co-Editors-In-Chief Antonios Mikos, PhD, Louis Calder Professor at Rice University, Houston, TX, and Peter C. Johnson, MD, Vice President, Research and Development and Medical Affairs, Vancive Medical Technologies, an Avery Dennison business, and President and CEO, Scintellix, LLC, Raleigh, NC, the Journal brings together scientific and medical experts in the fields of biomedical engineering, material science, molecular and cellular biology, and genetic engineering. Tissue Engineering is the official journal of the Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS). Complete tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed online at the Tissue Engineering website.
About the Publisher
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research, including Stem Cells and Development, Human Gene Therapy, and Advances in Wound Care. Its biotechnology trade magazine, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN), was the first in its field and is today the industry's most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm's 80 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.